top-10-midcentury-sofasPam just had me update our massive, massively popular story about where to find mid mod sofas. We’re now up to: 240 affordable midcentury modern style sofas — from 33 companies. WOAH. After my eye-boggling update, Pam asked me to choose my 10 favorite sofa designs from our big list. 

The couches I selected for this subjective top-10 list evoke what I would consider more of a timeless midcentury style — meaning they could work in the same room for 10, 15, even 20 years even as the rest of the room’s decor evolved. For that reason, I stuck with sofas with clean lines that were not overly ‘jazzy’ in addition to sofa styles and brands that seemed to get good reviews from customers and our readers alike. And final note: This is a list about aesthetics — we are not Consumer Reports, so we’re not assessing quality — and, the list is not in any particular order….


1. Younger Furniture — Louie Sofa

Younger Furniture has so many great options to choose from in their retro inspired Avenue 62 line. The Louie sofa above is one of their new models, which I love in the orange fabric shown. This midcentury modern style sofa has a classic shape with graceful curved legs to keep it from feeling too boxy — and would likely look great in a variety of midcentury or modern living rooms.


2. Thrive Home Furnishings — Jefferson sofa

Another manufacturer that has a fabulous selection of midcentury modern sofas to choose from is Thrive Home Furnishings. I like their Jefferson sofa because of its clean lines, tapered midcentury style legs and single cushion, which means less ‘rearranging’ the sofa after that afternoon nap. This particular model comes in a rainbow of colors.


3. Joybird Furniture — Worthy sofa

A relative new comer to the midcentury modern furniture marketplace, Joybird Furniture has so many neat styles and colors of sofas available that it was hard to pick a favorite. However their Worthy sofa struck me as a modern update of grandma’s couch — you know that one she’s had for 50 years and it still looks brand new that you wish could come live in your living room. With no loose cushions at all on this sofa, there will be little worry about losing your pocket change. The decorative tufting on the seat and back add some nice visual interest to this classic shape.

Room-and-Board-Reese-sofa4. Room & Board — Reese sofa

I’ve been ogling the Room & Board Reese sofa for years, and I tend to think it was one of the first midcentury modern style sofa offerings available when the style started to gain popularity about five years ago. The sleek lines of this couch make it easy on the eyes, and it is available in several sizes and also as a sectional to fit a variety of spaces and layouts.

Crate-and-barrel-Petrie-sofa5. Crate and Barrel — Petrie sofa

Another option that I’ve been ogling for years now — the Crate and Barrel Petrie sofa — was also one of the first midcentury styles to hit the mainstream market. Like the Room & Board Reese sofa, the Petrie sofa  comes in a variety of sizes and is available as a sectional.

CB2-club-sofa6. CB2 — Club sofa

Fans of vintage tuxedo couches will love the CB2 Club sofa. With its classic, straight lines and boxy shape, this couch would be a welcome addition to mod and modern living rooms alike. The club sofa is available in a 74″ model or the extra long 101″.


7. Heywood-Wakefield — Margaret Davenport

No list of midcentury sofas would be complete without the still-produced-today classic Margaret sofa from Heywood-Wakefield. A fantastic option for those in search of a sofa to complement their 1940s or 1950s  decor, the Margaret Davenport can be customized with your own fabric — vintage or new — to create the vintage style sofa of your dreams.



8. West Elm — Crosby sofa

The West Elm Crosby sofa has the same sleek styling and tapered legs as many of the other sofas profiled here, with a slight variation — back cushions that do not go all the way up to the back of the sofa. These back cushions walk the line between oversized sofa pillows and couch cushions, giving the sofa a cozy, friendly feel.


9. Design Within Reach — Bantam sofa

The Design Within Reach Bantam sofa is on the higher end of the price scale, but also has a noble design heritage. The sofas in the DWR Bantam collection are based on furniture by famed designer Edward J. Wormley. Streamlined, sleek and sexy, the Bantam sofa is sure to remain a classic for years to come.


10. Rowe Furniture — Kempner sofa

We’ve heard many readers sing the praises of sofas from Rowe Furniture — a company that seems to continue to add more midcentury style sofas. My favorite of their offerings is the Kempner sofa, with its sleek lines, tapered wood legs and tufted back. Rowe offers hundreds of fabrics to customize their sofas, so whether you want a classic beige tweed or a vivid teal, they’ve got you covered.

See our other stories about where to buy midcentury styled sofas and sectionals:

  1. Rebecca Prichard says:

    My Design Within Reach Bantam sofa looks excellent after 5 years, yes, only 5 so far, but it looks excellent. My sister bought a sofa from Thrive and it’s really not holding up that well.

  2. Joe Felice says:

    Tufted nylon with piping is almost de rigeur. When we lived in Montgomery in the late ’50s, we had an ‘L’-shaped sectional that was black & white (variegated), and the short leg of the ‘L’ had a rounded end. To complete the suite were 2 bi-level end tables with fish lamps, and a matching coffee table. We were really stylin’!

  3. Janet in CT says:

    Thank you, Kate, for doing all the research for this excellent article on MCM sofas – very informative! We were fortunate (I THINK anyhow) that the previous owner of our fifties ranch in Maine left an early sixties very long four seater sofa behind at my request. We discovered it originally had the tapered legs but at some point, probably in the early eighties when they repainted the kitchen, they put a skirt on three sides (left the back open). Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, the upholstery is that indestructible nylon. I would love to have it reupholstered but the stuff on it will probably never wear out so I hesitate to do that. I know it will be expensive to have it done and maybe I should just get a new one but then again, I really do not want to dispose of it and replace it with a new one. These days planned obsolescence seems to be the rule, but I like to save the old stuff if I can.

  4. Nina says:

    I saw the Kempner in a local store last week and was really taken with it. I’ve been a fan of this article since the list only included about 26 or so sofas. How delighted am I to see the Kempner on Kate’s top 10 list out of over 200! Always nice to have some affirmation- after years of eyeing sofas, I’m going to order it this week! I saw the Brady in person too- I love the style but it is deeper than the Kempner and I prefer a tufted back over tufted cushions.

  5. Renee Ozer says:

    How about Matt Blatt? I just looked at a Houzz article about a home in Australia, and the owners had a swoon-worthy Eames lounge chair repro.

  6. pam kueber says:

    Hi Cindi,

    This response is going to be more than you expected, but here ya go: Over the past year or more I have hesitated to promote “review” comments in threads like these. This is because “reviews” can come from unknown folks with hidden agendas. Yes, we’ve had a few trolls, even [immediately deleted per our Terms of Use]. For this reason: I’m discouraging reviews — and suggest instead –> go online to a review site like Yelp. (I see that Yelp has lots of reviews for Joybird, I am guessing they have them for other furniture companies as well — User Reviews is Yelp’s principal business.) Also, you can check online at Consumer Reports — just in case they’ve covered this topic; they are the only review site I really trust — they buy things with their own money and do side-by-side test comparisons; also they may have a story like “what to look for when buying a sofa.” As Kate and I underscored in this story, we are not Consumer Reports — what I direct we write about generally relates to aesthetics.

    Three more things – on occasion I do let comments in, if they are relatively innocuous, ala “I bought a sofa from XYZ company and I really like it, you should check that one out, Pam.” Kate and I may comment on our perception of quality if we own a particular object or have personal experience. And, I may also allow comments from readers I have known for a long time. Again, though, my preference is to encourage all this go to Yelp or other places set up specifically to handle reviews.

    Finally: Disclosure: Joybird is a big advertisers on this site; they place ads directly with me. My comments today are not about them or your request regarding them per se and I did not discuss this with them — my response to your question pertains to all “review” type comments.

    Good luck!

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